Achuthanandan cautions Centre against rushing to commission nuke plant

VS Achuthanandan cautioned the Centre against "rushing" to commission KNPP in Tamil Nadu without addressing safety concerns.

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran Marxist leader V S Achuthanandan on Sunday cautioned the Centre against "rushing" to commission the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant (KNPP) in Tamil Nadu without addressing safety concerns in view of experts pointing out "defects" in the Russian reactor.

"The Centre should give up its plan to commission the plant this month since some of the experts have pointed out that part of the reactor has defects," he said in a statement here.

Achuthanandan said experts like former chairman of Atomic Energy Regulatory Board Dr Goapalakrishnan had come out with statements in this regard.

"It would be wrong on the part of the Government to go ahead with its plan to commission the plant ignoring the warnings of experts and overlooking the protests of the local people," the former Kerala chief minister said.

The Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited, setting up the plant, has said it replaced four faulty valves in the plant after the AERB pointed out deficiencies in them.

Achuthandnan was a few months ago pulled up by his party`s state and central leadership for defying the official line on the Kudankulam nuclear power plant by openly supporting the agitation demanding its closure and making an attempt to visit the plant site to express solidarity with the agitation.

While the CPI-M officially disagrees with the anti-nuclear energy campaigners` demand for scrapping the plant, Achuthanandan had often stated openly that he firmly believed that nuclear plants are dangerous anywhere in the world.

The Indo-Russian joint venture nuclear power project, which is expected to be commissioned by this month-end, has missed several deadlines since December last year following protests by locals over safety concerns.